Eating out can seem challenging when you’re working hard to make healthy changes to your diet. Not only do restaurant portions tend to be larger than what you’d eat at home, you might also worry that you won’t really be able to monitor how many calories you consume when dining out. If you take a few simple precautions, however, you can feel good about eating out solo or with friends and family. From doing your homework to using a calorie counter, try these five tips for keeping an eye on calories while eating out.

Do Your Homework Before You Dine

Whenever possible, always take time to do research before you arrive at your dining location. Browse the restaurant’s website and make a note of dishes that seem to fit into your diet plan, such as high-protein, high-fat, or low-carb entrees. Don’t hesitate to call the restaurant in advance and ask about ingredients or calorie counts. This can help make your choice easier.

Get the Scoop About Food Prep

Even if you didn’t get a chance to do your homework in advance, always ask the restaurant staff about the dishes you’re considering. Research how big the serving of meat is and make a point of asking how your protein is prepared. It’s always better to clarify whether the fish is baked or steamed, rather than learning it’s sautéed in butter and soaked in extra calories after it arrives at your table.

Make a Big Deal About the Small Stuff

When you’re eating out, it’s easy to focus on the main dish – it’s the star of the show. However, you shouldn’t forget about the side dishes. They can easily add on hundreds of extra calories.

Before you go with the default side of fries, ask whether you can substitute a small salad or a plate of steamed vegetables. If none of the available sides work with your diet plan, remember that you can always pare down your meal or share any extras with your dining companions.

Use Our Reliable Calorie Counter App

Have our easy-to-use, calorie-counting app at your fingertips so you can quickly plug in your meal and determine whether you have room for a glass of wine or sweet treat.

Our food calorie counter app measures macronutrients so you can make sure you’re getting the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, even when you’re eating socially. Since you can easily use our Lifesum app on the go, you never have to wait until the end of the day to add up your daily intake.

Pack It up and Take It to Go

Before you dig in, remember that restaurant portions can include multiple servings. To keep your calorie count accurate and prevent yourself from overeating, ask your waiter to pack up part of your meal before it arrives at your table. You won’t be tempted to overindulge and you’ll already have a meal ready to enjoy tomorrow.

Dining out doesn’t have to be difficult, even when counting calories. Keep these five tips in mind and make eating out a healthy part of your diet.

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